Northern Cape solar plant workers down tools

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About 100 National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) affiliated workers from Abengoa Solar’s three power plants in the Northern Cape have embarked on a strike in Upington and Pofadder.

The workers say although they are permanent employees, they do not receive any medical aid, provident fund or danger allowance benefits.

In response to a request for comment, the company said its leadership was currently unavailable.

Numsa shop steward at Abengoa Solar Charles Mazwi says, “We had our first round of negotiations, we had our second round of negotiations, the third round of negotiations… and the fourth round was at CCMA. Their answer to us is that they don’t have money, that’s the answer that we get. The strike will go on up until we come down to the table, sit with them and negotiate how we can meet each other halfway. We are still here tomorrow also.”